The Features of the 1996 Ford F150
The 1996 F150 remained virtually unchanged for the model year. The new lower-tier Special trim and the top-tier Eddie Bauer edition were continued, and the SVT Lightning was dropped. (Ford would resurrect the Lightning in 1999 but as a completely different truck with a different engine).
Ford no longer offered the Flareside style in 1996 (Most owners didn’t love it and preferred the straight Styleside beds, so it wasn’t much of a loss). The truck was available in Regular or SuperCab versions with a 6 ¾’ or 8’ bed. In addition, the 1996 model would be the last to have the Twin I-beam suspension (although it would continue in F250 and F350 truck models for another decade).
The Special trim continued as the base model for 1995. The trim level had a vinyl bench seat, black rubber flooring, and argent steel wheels. The truck was a basic no-frills truck that many companies and municipalities added to their fleets as a work truck.
The XL and XLT trims were the middle lines, and they could be fitted with various packages to increase the amenities. The XLT offered a higher comfort level with standard air conditioning and a cloth 40/20/40 console seat (although Captain’s chairs were an option for SuperCab models).
The Eddie Bauer trim was the top tier, with almost all the bells and whistles, including lower contrasting accent paint, aluminum alloy wheels, and a Chrome appearance package. While the unique pickup never took off, it did lay the foundation for luxury pickups. (Ford had experience with the Eddie Bauer partnership in the Bronco, Bronco II, and Explorer. These trims were a direct result of many owners using their pickups as family haulers rather than work trucks).
There were no changes to the exterior of the 1996 F150. The grille and headlight treatments remained the same as the 1996 F150. Straight lines gave the truck a simple, straightforward appearance. Ford offered four-wheel drive customers an optional Off-Road package that featured skid plates, Rally Bar, off-road lights, and the appropriate decals.
Ford changed its exterior paint palette to 12 colors for the F150 in 1996. Colors ranged from Toreador Red, Pacific Green Metallic, Light Saddle Metallic, Reef Blue Metallic, Moonlight Blue Metallic, and Portofino Blue. (The only colors held over were White, Black, and Silver). Interior colors remained unchanged - Royal Blue, Ruby Red, Opal Grey, and Medium Mocha.
Ford continued to offer the same engine lineup as before, with the 4.9L inline-six as the standard and the 5.0L V8 and the 5.8L V8 as options. All engines were EFI (electronic fuel injected). The 1996 model year would be the last one for all three engines in the F150. (The tenth generation would offer three engine choices - 4.2L V6, 4.6L Triton V8, and 5.4 Triton V8).
Ford offered only two transmissions for 1996 - a standard five-speed manual with overdrive and an optional 4-speed automatic (AOD - E). Ford offered the automatic electric touch drive as an option on 4WD models, allowing drivers to access the off-road capability with the flick of a button.
Ford had used the Twin I-beam suspension in its trucks since 1965. While the system would continue to be used for another decade in heavy-duty F250s and 350s, this would be the last year it was used in an F150. Ford recognized that more customers were using their trucks as personal vehicles, and they designed the suspension to reflect that development.
The addition of the driver’s airbag in 1994 forced Ford to redesign the steering wheel so that it could be fitted. Ford kept the 40/20/40 seat with the center console section that could be folded up or down as needed. The power driver’s seat was only available for the XLT and Eddie Bauer SuperCabs, but not for the Regular Cab. Captain’s Chairs with power were available in SuperCabs, along with a rear cloth bench seat. (The Special and XL trims allowed for a rear bench seat deletion which offered space for tool storage in many fleet vehicles).
Many other options were available, including extra insulation in the headliner and doors, dual fuel tanks, an AM/FM stereo with cassette, and a chrome rear step bumper. Customers could pay for remote keyless entry, hood covers, and bed liners, among other items.
What Are The Specs For The 1996 Ford F 150?
What Is a 1996 Ford F150 Worth Today?
Hagerty states that a 1996 F150 in good condition is worth $10,200. A used Lightning truck in good condition will fetch close to $25,000 price. For a review of free listings of 1996 F-Series trucks on sale, vehicle history, and consumer reviews, see the classiccars.com website.
Many classic car websites are also available to sell vehicles and will guarantee good prices. The availability of stock parts for the 1996 Ford F150 is plentiful, and many collectors seek these trucks out for restoration projects.